We live in a culture of do-it-yourselfers (DIY).
It is not surprising, since many of us share a desire to be strong and self-sufficient. This desire is usually linked to some deeply held values that are rooted in our heritage. They are woven so tightly into our being that they shape our perceptions and assumptions about life, as well as the solutions that we might imagine for the challenges that we face.
Values that encourage DIY approaches might include:
- Frugality — Why spend money on a service or product that I can do or make myself? Isn't that "a waste of money"?
- Intelligence — I'm smart enough to figure this out on my own, and if I can, then I should.
- Independence — I don't like to be dependent on anyone or anything. Being vulnerable makes me uncomfortable.
- Strength — I like being strong enough to handle anything. Getting support feels like an admission of weakness.
- Uniqueness — I am one of a kind, and have distinct preferences. I need to find my own answers because no one really gets me.
Doing things on your own can be an empowering experience - especially if things go well. Sometimes, though, being unwilling to seek outside assistance can hold us back. Here are three signs that it's time to consider professional help.
- You are convinced your goal is important, but you don't know where to start — If you've ever felt overwhelmed by the prospect of taking on something big, you know that it can be paralyzing. If that same goal keeps showing up and you aren't taking steps forward, find a professional who can help you create a plan that feels more manageable. A good plan will help break things down so that you know what to do, when to do it, and what additional resources will help you succeed.
- You are working towards a goal, but not getting (or keeping) the results that you want — When things don't work out the way you plan, it is easy to get discouraged or stuck. Instead of blaming yourself or driving yourself harder consider getting help from a professional who can help you adjust your approach. A skilled individual can help you extract valuable information from your experience, use it to customize your plan, and take your results to the next level.
- You haven't actually started doing it yourself because it would take you too much time or effort — You're smart and capable, but you've got a long to-do list. Some of the important things on your list are never rising to the top because you can't fit it all in. Getting help for the parts that a professional can do quicker and easier frees you to do what you do best while still allowing yourself to move towards your goal.
Self-care is, by definition, a do-it-yourself activity, but the Duke Wheel of Health also includes a circle of professional assistance that is meant to support your wellness work. With experience and wisdom, we learn when to rely on ourselves and when to rely on others.
If you are interested in investing in your well-being, I invite you to use the Brief Wellness Self-Assessment to see where you notice growth opportunities. Where would you like to focus your attention? As you explore your responses, consider whether a coach or other health or wellness professional might help you reach your wellness goals with more focus and ease.